Mets 9, Dodgers 5

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LOS ANGELES (AP)—With one swing, Mike Piazza caught the catcher he was chasing—and passed Joe DiMaggio.

Piazza tied Carlton Fisk’s major league record of 351 home runs as a catcher, hitting a tiebreaking shot to help the New York Mets beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-5 Tuesday night.

“Anytime you do something like that, you want to do it in a victory,” Piazza said. “I’ve been thinking about it a little bit lately, so I’m hoping I can get one more and kind of turn the page and get it over with.”

It was the 362nd home run overall for the Mets’ slugger, moving him past DiMaggio for 58th place on the career list—seven behind Mets broadcaster Ralph Kiner.

The 10-time All-Star, who hit his first 177 homers with the Dodgers, went 16 games without one after connecting twice at Atlanta on April 7.

Piazza ended the drought against former batterymate Hideo Nomo, lining his fourth homer of the season to left-center with one out in the sixth for a 4-3 lead.

“It’s special to do it here, no question about it,” said Piazza, the first Dodger to hit a home run out of Dodger Stadium. “I came up through this organization and they gave me a chance when no one else did. It means a lot. It really does. It’s a little emotional for me.”

The home run was one of three allowed by Nomo (3-2), along with the first of the season by Shane Spencer and Todd Zeile.

The Mets tacked on two more runs in the seventh against Guillermo Mota, increasing their lead to 6-3 with an RBI groundout by pinch-hitter Eric Valent and a run-scoring single by Mike Cameron.

Mota ended the seventh by striking out Piazza, the first time they faced each other since getting into a brawl in spring training last year. Both were suspended for five games.

Two-time Cy Young Award winner Tom Glavine (3-1) allowed three runs and 10 hits in six innings. With his 254th win, he passed Hall of Famer Carl Hubbell for 41st place on the career list.

“I never in my wildest dreams would have envisioned being anywhere close to the top 10 in terms of left-handed pitchers, but I’ve been fortunate,” Glavine said.

“I’ve been healthy and I’ve played on some great teams and just been able to kind of quietly keep cruising along and doing my thing. Hopefully, I can continue to inch up that list as much as I can before it’s all said and done,” he said.

Glavine gave up four consecutive one-out singles in the first inning. But the eight-time All-Star escaped the jam with only one run scoring.

“Glavine knows how to pitch out of jams, and that’s why he’ll go to the Hall of Fame,” Dodgers first baseman Shawn Green said. “He gives up a couple of runs early and then battles.”

Cesar Izturis, who singled to extend his career-best hitting streak to 14 games, came home on Green’s single. Another hit by Paul Lo Duca loaded the bases, but Glavine forced Milton Bradley at the plate on a comebacker by Juan Encarnacion, and Adrian Beltre fouled out to first.

Spencer, fighting tendinitis in his hamstring, hit his first NL home run in the second after a leadoff walk to Karim Garcia. Two batters later, Zeile homered into the lower seats in the left-field corner to give the Mets a 3-1 lead.

“The solo home runs aren’t what’s going to get you beat. It’s the home runs with people on base that are going to hurt you,” Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. “We were in a position to win the ballgame, but we just didn’t get the job done.”

The Dodgers tied it in the second. Cameron—playing shallow against Dave Roberts and shaded slightly toward left-center—had virtually no angle on a line drive that got past him for an RBI triple, which followed a single by Nomo. Izturis drove in Roberts with a single.

Nomo was charged with four runs and five hits in six innings.

Jose Hernandez ended a 42-game home run drought with a leadoff shot in the eighth against David Weathers.

Mike Stanton got out of the inning, and the Mets pushed the lead to 9-5 in the ninth. Garcia hit an RBI single, and Jason Phillips ended an 0-for-29 skid with a run-scoring single off Duaner Sanchez.

Braden Looper worked a perfect ninth.


Glavine’s 141 career strikeouts against the Dodgers are his highest total against any team. … It was Japanese-American community night at Dodger Stadium, and the first batter Nomo faced was Kaz Matsui—who got his first big league stolen base in the seventh and continued to third on Lo Duca’s throwingerror.

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